Baltic 2 cable construction on schedule

Interest in faster progress on Baltic Sea projects rises

Construction work on the cable connection for EnBW Baltic 2 is on schedule, a spokesman for the transmission system operator 50Hertz told Windpower Offshore today. The connection comprises an extension, further out to sea, of the cable to shore from EnBW's Baltic 1.

The coordination with EnBW is good, he added, but a completion date remains unclear, "due to the vagaries of the weather in the coming autumn and winter, which might affect construction progress".

EnBW began work this year on the 288MW Baltic 2 project, located 32km north of the island of Rügen. Commissioning is slated to begin next year, when the cable connection is required by law to be ready to operate. The entire project is set for completion in 2014.

50Hertz has 21 applications for cable connections to shore for offshore wind parks. Of these, five have been submitted by developers for sites also claimed by others, according to the company.

If all projects proceed, the total capacity would exceed 5GW. There have been "signals" indicating more interest in pressing ahead with Baltic Sea projects, given the difficulties with cable connections in the North Sea, said the spokesman. "But it remains to be seen whether these will firm up. There is no firm trend."

He also welcomed German government plans to tackle the risk liability problem related to late completion of cable connections to shore, or if such cables suffer outages. "The government has amended its initial proposals after an intervention by the federal minister for consumer protection, Ilse Aigner, and is now due to publish a draft law on the matter tomorrow, Wednesday 29th August, but it then has to be passed by parliament. We have to wait and see what the outcome is," he said.

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